Home Workplace News New National Council for Reconciliation established to advance Indigenous rights in Canada

New National Council for Reconciliation established to advance Indigenous rights in Canada

by HR Law Canada

April 30 marked a significant step forward in Canada’s journey towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples as Bill C-29, establishing the National Council for Reconciliation, received Royal Assent, officially becoming law. The Council was a core recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has directed its formation based on the firsthand testimonies of Survivors.

The newly formed Council is mandated to monitor and report on Canada’s efforts towards reconciliation, implementing a multi-year action plan, and advocating for changes across all sectors of Canadian society. This body will also produce an annual report, to be reviewed by both Parliament and the Prime Minister, in fulfillment of Call to Action 56 from the Commission.

“The National Council for Reconciliation will hold our feet to the fire as we continue to walk the path of reconciliation in this country,” said the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. “The road ahead requires hard work from all levels of government, businesses, civil society, and more. Many voices have strengthened this legislation, and I thank them for their contributions.”

The Council will reflect the diversity of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, with appointments made through nominations from National Indigenous Organizations. Its establishment is a direct response to Call to Action 53, and supports further actions listed in Calls to Action 54, 55, and 56.

Edith Cloutier, a member of the Transition Committee overseeing the Council’s creation, expressed the significance of this development, saying, “It is an honour and a privilege to participate, along with my colleagues on the Transition Committee and members of the government, in the creation of the National Reconciliation Council. This milestone marks a great moment in the history of relations between our peoples and is a pledge of hope for the future.”

The legislation has been shaped by inputs from various Indigenous organizations and testimonies from Survivors, ensuring it respects the distinct perspectives of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities.

The Transitional Committee, led by members including Dr. Mike DeGagné, Édith Cloutier, Rosemary Cooper, and Mitch Case, will now proceed to establish the first Board of the Council, formalizing its operations under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.

This development reiterates the Government of Canada’s commitment to fulfilling the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and adhering to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as foundational guides towards genuine reconciliation.

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